Peter Thomas has been President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company's Board since April 2013. He was appointed to the additional role of Board Chairman in April 2014.
Mr. Thomas had been Operating Vice President of Ferro's Polymer and Ceramic Engineered Materials Group, which includes its Polymer Additives, Specialty Plastics, Tile Coatings, Porcelain Enamel, and Pharmaceuticals businesses. He began his career with Ferro in 2000 as Director of Sales for Polymer Additives. He has held increasingly responsible positions, including Commercial Director for Performance and Fine Chemicals, then Operating Vice President for the Company’s Organic Specialties businesses..
Prior to joining Ferro, Mr. Thomas was Vice President of the Oleochemical-Derivatives business unit for Witco Corporation. He also held positions as Vice President of Sales and Global Market Director. Before joining Witco, he was Executive Vice President for Inland Leidy Chemical Distribution, Business Manager for GAF Corporation, and prior to that with Noxell Corporation.
Mr. Thomas earned his Master of Business Administration degree in marketing from Loyola University, Baltimore, Maryland, and his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is Ferro's executive contact for the American Chemistry Council.
Benjamin Schlater was named Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in September 2016. He is responsible for Ferro's financial operations, including corporate development, accounting, treasury, tax, budgeting, and investor relations. He also is responsible for the Company's Information Services (IS) operations.
Mr. Schlater joined Ferro in September 2015 as Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development. He has nearly 20 years of corporate finance experience, with extensive background in treasury, strategic planning, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and implementing strategies and financial objectives to support growth for multi-billion-dollar global companies. His experience includes serving as treasurer and head of corporate development, strategic and financial planning, and risk management at Veyance Technologies, a $2 billion global manufacturing company then owned by The Carlyle Group. Prior to Veyance, he was a managing director at FTI Consulting, focused on financial and strategic advisory services for large multinational companies. Before his tenure at Veyance, he was a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in its corporate finance practice.
Mr. Schlater earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Business Law degree from Ohio University and he is a Certified Public Accountant.
Mark H. Duesenberg is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, with responsibility for the legal affairs of Ferro Corporation and its subsidiaries worldwide.
Prior to joining Ferro in 2008, Mr. Duesenberg served as Executive Director, Legal and Government Affairs for Lenovo Group Ltd. in Washington, DC, and as Lenovo’s Legal Director—Europe, Middle East and Africa, in London. From 1999 to 2005, he held positions of increasing responsibility in the law department of Invensys plc, in London. In 1998-1999, Mr. Duesenberg was general counsel for a development-stage company. Prior to his corporate law roles, Mr. Duesenberg was an attorney at Hughes Hubbard & Reed and the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC, and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Pasco Bowman of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.
Mr. Duesenberg received his Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Mr. Tortajada joined Ferro’s operation in Spain in 1999, and earned positions of increasing responsibility in Europe. Before being named to his current role, he served as HR Director for Europe/Middle East/Africa.
Prior to joining Ferro, Mr. Tortajada was Director of Human Resources, Spain and Portugal, at Roche Diagnostics Iberia SA in Barcelona, and he held HR roles at Boehringer Mannheim before it was acquired by Roche Holding AG in 1997. Previous to Roche, he did HR work at Electrolux Compressors Companies in Spain. He launched his career in human resources at Hay Management Consultants, Barcelona.
Mr. Tortajada holds an MBA from ESADE, Barcelona and earned his undergraduate degree in Law, with a specialty in Labor Law, from the University of Valencia.